Sound — 9
Jonivan Jones, the voice and guitarist behind Animal Sound, has a penchant for using roots rock palettes in his songs graft from shades of prairieland Americana, country-folk, and psychedelic rock. His latest CD, The Unknown is a cross between the psychedelic glaze of Jeff Buckley with the Americana rock embers of Johnny Cash and the rootsy rock tremors of Kings of Leon. Maintaining a country rock velocity, Jones is a modern day Bob Dylan wielding lyrics that relate to the human condition and music clamped in a vise of folk rock inspired shakes held together by an acoustic rock skeletal. The bluesy rock hues of The Midnight Strange are wrapped in rippling guitar treads, which transform into thick clusters rumbling across tracks like Go To Hell and The Walking Dead. The tingling sensations of the mandolin's echoes reverberating across the channels of Exit Road ride along the surface, while the wailing harmonica trills cutting into Sixty Five are trussed in a bluesy roots rock lulling. The chugging rhythm of It's Alright is clasp in whining guitar riffs, and the softly resonating quavers of Ozark Moon are sheltered in lounging guitar swells. Jonivan Jones's music is earnestly attired in country folk fibers that bridge the past of Johnny Cash with the present of Kings of Leon.
Lyrics — 9
Jonivan Jones' words are about being in touch with human emotions, confronting life's conflicts and the struggles to overcome hardship. His lyrics are profound and deeply personal like in The Midnight Strange when he expresses, Don't jump back from the unknown / I'll be here and how you've grown away / Meetin' sizes different faces there with a pretty glow / Oh face them and the unknown. Other lyrics are moments of self-realization like when he reflects, There's pieces of me all over the place / I hope I didn't lose and change my face from Go To Hell. Or like in Sixty Five, he rebels, I'm not gonna be your crack in the dam. There is a fighting spirit in Jones' lyrics that admit to being beaten down, but shows a resilient fire to rise back up.
Overall Impression — 9
Jonivan Jones shows a heavy tilt towards roots rock blends which suits his temperament and style of playing. As a guitarist, Jones fluctuates between dewy, ambient glides and heavily weighed tremors with a country folk hammering. As a singer, his timbres have a strong bourbon tone, and the command that he shows in the elasticity of his chord movements is mesmerizing relatable to such prominent vocalists as Jeff Buckley, Johnny Cash, and Bono. Jonivan Jones has the makings of such notable artists.